My Big Day

October 27, 2011

A couple of days ago I had the best day I have had in so long I can’t really remember. It was awesome!

No, I didn’t win the lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House.  I didn’t get a free trip to the Bahamas.  I didn’t get anything….except to feel fantastic, incredible, happy, healthy,   normal.  For me normal is the highest height I can aspire to.  It’s the highest feeling I’ve had since I got FUBAR’d.   (Thank you Arnold Chiari Malformation and MS….you suck a big green weenie)

It started when I woke up at 4:30 am.  Very unusual for me lately.  Normally I would hit the snooze about seven times and sleep until almost 5:30 am.  But I felt really awake and so I rolled with it.  I got up and fixed homemade biscuits and sausage for everyone for breakfast.  After I got everyone off to school and work, I sat down to read for a few minutes.  When I looked up again I decided that feeling normal ROCKS and so I would use that time to do something constructive.  I proceeded to clean up my paper avalanche around the computer.

When I die it is going to be from being suffocated by a large pile of paper that I couldn’t think well enough to decide what to do with. 

So I put the FAT principle into motion and divided everything into three piles: File, Act, Toss.  That eliminated about 90% of the paper.  Then I filed the F pile and that left me with the Act pile.  So far so good.  Then I tossed 3 years worth of old files and dug down to the current page of my desk calendar.  That right there is more than I’ve done in months and months. 

After I was done, I could actually get to my computer without climbing any paper mountains and without a native guide.  I was happy.  I then went grocery shopping with Rocky and Pony.  When we got back I put away groceries, loaded the dishwasher, did some laundry, and fixed dinner. 

Sounds like a small fraction of anyone’s normal day, doesn’t it?  Yeah, I know.  But for me it was like a life orgasm.  I got to spend a day being sorta like I used to be.  You know, like a real person.  Like a human being that can get up in the morning and look around and say…..I need to do this and this and this…..and not mean ONLY this and this and this but mean in addition to my normal stuff. 

What I can usually do is get up in the morning and look around and say to myself….how in the name of God will I ever be able to catch up with all this stuff?  Then I get really optimistic and say to myself….just pick a couple of things to do and don’t worry about the rest.  Then I look around and there is just SO MUCH that I haven’t done that I can’t decide what needs doing most.  Which makes me feel like a total slug and worthless in the extreme.  Then I get to feeling bad about myself and it ends up where I spend most of every day trying to keep from cutting my own throat for being such a worthless excuse for a human being. 

Because I can’t lift my hands over my head because it messes up my neck and I get headaches and vertigo, and I can’t bend down because it makes me dizzy, and I can’t stand up straight for long because it makes my knees go numb, and I can’t and I can’t and I can’t and I can’t……..!  My entire life is the things I can’t. Sometimes I just go ahead and do it anyway.  Then I spend days where I can’t think good, I can’t walk good, I can’t talk good, my head hurts, my neck hurts and that damn screaming tinnitus will not leave me alone.  I don’t understand what people are saying to me, and I don’t get what they want and I don’t know how to say that I don’t get it.  I am terrified of becoming stuck in that state one day.

But the other day……I had a GOOD day!  I live off of those like they are food.


Childhood Obesity

November 26, 2010

If you want to stop childhood obesity why not start by putting recess back in to the elementary school day?  That’s an hour a day of exercise that children don’t get any longer.  Fifteen minutes each in the morning and the afternoon and thirty minutes at lunch.  The teachers spend at least that much time in a day fussing at the kids because they can’t sit still.  If I were a teacher MY class would have recess!  Purely in self-defense.  I’m just saying.

While I’m on the subject…….we have about five sidewalks in our town.  If a kid wants to walk anywhere here they have to do it on the side of the road or through someone’s yard.  I’m talking about in town, no sidewalks!  Who wants their child to walk through downtown traffic in order to get to the park or the recreation areas? 

If we want to have healthier children in America we need to facilitate their access to healthy environments.  We can’t remove every healthy activity from their lives and then wonder why they are obese.

Thoughts For The Day July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009

I have been busy this time so I have an excuse for being irresponsible. 

At the risk of jinxing it, I seem to feel better. Physically, anyway.  So I’ve been pushing myself lately.  Not too much, just enough to feel it a little bit.  Usually when I feel good I push myself way too far and end up FUBAR’d all over again.  I’m trying to use a little common sense this time and push myself a little at a time. 

I go outside even when it’s hot.  Doesn’t seem like much, does it?  But for me it’s huge.  I don’t do heat well at all.  It scrambles my brain and my body.  It makes me feel like I’m suffocating.  It turns my face bright red, and I get dizzy.  My body feels weak and I can’t think right.  I hear words but I don’t understand them.  It takes about four repetitions before I can finally make them make sense.  The inside of my head sounds like helicopter blades….whoomp  whoomp  whoomp.  I know how to do things but the proper order escapes me, so I get bogged down in trying to figure out if I have it right or if I’m forgetting something.  I can’t start anything because I have to keep going over it and over it to make sure I have it right.  It’s never in the same order, no matter how many times I think it through, so I never know which one is right.

I do more things that require strength.  I have a garden.  I work in it.  I dug holes and mixed dirt and planted some plants.  The Buddha and Princess Bella planted alot of plants too.  Like I said, I’m trying to push without over doing it.  Whenever I do anything that requires muscle, I only have a limited amount of time and strength to do it.  After that it’s all I can do to haul my tonnage back to a chair.  I can do it again after I rest.  No matter how much I work at them, my muscles will burn and give out after only a little bit.  I’m trying to have more little bits now, so maybe I can build myself up some. 

I take chances again.   For instance, MDH and I went canoeing down the Dan River a couple of weeks ago.  I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.  But I’m tired of being left behind and never doing anything, so I went.  It was awesome!  Granted, the Dan River was way high, and way fast and mostly all we had to do was steer, but I went!  And, even though my wrists still hurt even after two weeks, I did it.  The satisfaction is well worth the price. 

I drive…..far away…..every week.  The Buddha’s new counselor is in Chapel Hill.  That’s an hour drive from here.  It kills me.  Did you ever make mud pies?  Remember how they would start to dry out, but you could pat them and they would get wet all over again?  Well, riding in a vehicle is like patting my brain.  It gets all mushy and starts to lose it’s form.  It’s a damn scary thing, driving that far away.  I’m never sure if I’m going to be making it home under my own steam or not.  And it is exhausting.  Every time.  It takes me days to get over it, but I DO it. 

I read more.  This should be the easiest thing in the world, right?  No stress, no strain.  It’s not hot, it doesn’t require strength.  However, it does require me to understand the words.  If I’m doing ok, it’s easy.  If I’m not doing ok, it’s hard work.  I have to re-read the same sentence over and over to get it.  I read every book at least four times the first time I read it. 

MDH built a fire pit in our yard.  I love that thing!  I love a campfire.  There was about a year or more after our house burned down when I would go quietly insane whenever I smelled smoke.  I had a raging case of PTSD whenever I saw a flame.  I woke up a bazillion times a night thinking we were on fire again and every time I did, the house looked smokey.  But, I don’t do that much anymore. 

Anyway, we cook on the fire pit every Friday night, weather permitting.  It’s all very cave girl.  Um, cave girl and pioneer I guess.  We have the big ol Dutch oven.  That little baby is a gem!  I can start the fire, keep it going until I have enough coals to cook using the Dutch oven, and feed it coals until the food is done.  Like I said, I love that fire pit.  Can you tell?  One of my favorite things about the fire pit is that I don’t heat up my house by cooking inside.  By dinner time, the heat starts to build up in the house and the last thing I want to do is heat it up even more by cooking.  (remember the heat intolerance thing?  riiiight!) 

We moved our picnic table from the back deck to the fire pit area.  It’s the perfect place for all of us to gather up and play games or just sit and talk.  It’s also nice to sit there in the cool of the morning and drink coffee and watch the day start.  Especially since the outside dogs have taken over the porch swing and now I need to get new cushions for it before humans can use it again. 

My hummingbirds are back this summer.  I have two feeders that hang on the front porch.  If they start getting low on food, the hummers will come and hover in front of the screen door, waiting for me to come fix it!  They are fascinating to me.  The males fight like cats and dogs.  There are four hummers all together.  Two males and two females.  The males spend all of their time chasing each other away from the feeders.  The females wait until they are zooming around the field, then they will swoop in and eat until one of the males comes back.  Then they go sit in a tree until it starts again, which is usually about six seconds. 

We have quite a few bluebirds.  They love to sit on MDH’s motorcycle mirrors and fight with their reflection.  It’s hilarious.  But every once in a while it reminds me that the ancient dinosaur birds were pretty mean fellas.  I forget what they are called……raptors?  Is that it?  Anyway, birds are definitely not serene by nature.  Those pretty little bluebirds are aggressive with those reflections.  And they are building up some new White Cliffs Of Dover on the handlebars, too!  MDH is not amused.

I am now the proud new operator of a riding mower that doesn’t give me vertigo.  I can mow until my heart’s content and still be able to walk upright back to the house when I’m done.  I love the instant gratification of mowing the lawn.  I also love the smell.

All in all, for summer, things are going pretty good.  I’ve knocked wood and rubbed The Buddha’s belly for luck to keep from jinxing myself here.  (you could have bought The Buddha for a nickel when I did that) 

P.S.   Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day – This book rules.  The recipes are easy, they really work, and it feels really good to make your own bread by hand without having to knead yourself into oblivion.  If you’ve never made homemade bread, you’ll be an old hand at it after the second time.  It sorts itself out in your head pretty quick, and considering MY head, that means it’s easy to do.  If nothing else, borrow it from the library and try it at least once.  New experiences are good for you.

I Don’t Even Know What To Title This One

July 2, 2009

I just found out some scary news about one of my favorite people on earth.  I can’t wrap my brain around it.  My friend Mel has a tumor in her brain.  WTF?  How is that fair?  How is that right?  How can this happen?  I have more questions than I have the ability to type. 

She’s my friend.  From the first moment we clicked.  We were riding the same slipstream.  She smart, and fun, and funny, and h0nest,  and brash, and vocal, and sweet,  and real.  She’s herself and I love her for it.  She’s smarter than the average bear.  She’s got dreams and goals and someone she loves.  She has plans.  She has a life!  

So what the hell is a tumor doing in her head?  There is nothing more frightening than being attacked by your own body.  It feels un-natural in the extreme.  It’s wrong on such a fundamental level that it’s hard to even accept, much less understand.

The surgery is soon.  Too soon.  Not soon enough.  My thoughts are scattered everywhere and I can’t seem to catch any of them. 

I read somewhere that there was a study done that proved that people who were in bad health, got well faster if they were prayed for.  They didn’t even need to know that it was happening.  It still worked.

So, do my friend Mel a solid, if you will.  Pray for her.  Start now.  Please?

2nd Hand Alcohol

June 19, 2008

I’m about to gag myself to death with the latest California brainstorm wanting to ban smoking in apartments and condos. 

Before you EVEN start let me say that YES I smoke.  Yes I know it’s bad for me and you and everyone else in the universe.  I have no problem with not smoking in a restaurant.  I will gladly wait to light up after we all get done eating.  I have no problem not firing up on the airplane.  I get it, OK?  I understand that my choice to smoke is just that…MY choice.  I understand that I have no right to impose MY choice on YOU.  By that same token, you have no right to impose your choice NOT to smoke on ME. 

  I happen to have the opinion that the OWNER of an establishment should have the choice of whether said establishment is smoking or non-smoking.  And that we as consumers have the option of choosing whether or not to patronize that establishment based on that, or any other criteria we want to employ.  If the owner makes his establishment a smoking environment and we choose not to patronize it because of that and his profits then go down, he must either bow to the bottom line and change his mind or he must accept the loss in profits.  On the other hand if his profits do NOT go down, then the opponents of smokers must then suck it up and go off to find a cleaner environment to plot the reduction of rights the citizens of this country can call their own.

I find it cosmically frightening that the citizens of America are blithely watching their rights being whittled away without so much as a whine.  The fight against smokers is only one example, but it is a glaring one.  In the scheme of things I can think of a dozen more rediculously obvious dangers than second hand smoke.  But millions of dollars in cash as well as matching amounts in time and effort are spent making good, decent people feel like second class citizens. 

I, as a smoker, have never driven down the road on a nicotine high and killed innocent people in a head on collision as a direct result of over consumption of cigarettes.  I, as a smoker, have never smoked a six pack of cigarettes and beaten my children because I can’t handle my nicotine anymore.  I, as a smoker, have never given my child brain damage that will last a lifetime because nicotine makes me angry and vindictive and violent every time I light up a cigarette.  But you be sure to ban me from smoking in a BAR!!!!!!!!  We wouldn’t want all those bar patrons who will be out there “drinking responsibly” to suffer from second hand smoke, right?

What am I missing?  I see on the news with sickening frequency stories about multiple teenagers in alcohol related accidents.  Dead, maimed, brain damaged, crippled for life.   And let’s not forget the innocents.  Those folks whose only crime was being on the road at the same time as someone who was drinking and driving.  Not one suggestion of a ban on drinking in apartments and condos.  Not one mention of bans on alcohol anywhere.   Could it be that there are far more lawmakers that drink than smoke?

I have six….yes I said SIX cousins who are orphans because their parents and their oldest brother died from second hand alcohol.  They were killed by a drunk driver as they were returning home from Christmas shopping.  I guess we should be thankful that they didn’t die from second hand smoke, huh?

Random Thoughts May 2, 2008

May 3, 2008


That’s the excuse I’m giving myself for having nothing to say. 

I hate politics.  Just vote for the liar who’s ass you like best. 

Every time a political ad comes on TV it reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live show.  Dan Ackroyd was the Jimmy Carter-like president who was just elected.  During his inaugural address he tells the nation that, due to becoming privy to information he was NOT privy to before becoming president, he will no longer be able to keep ANY of his campaign promises.  ROFLMAO!  

Privy.  What an odd word.  That’s an outhouse, right?   I need my OED for some background info here.  I love to find out the origin of odd words or phrases that we use all the time but never really think about.  For instance: “In cahoots with”  Back during the old days, criminals lived in shacks down by the river.  They were called cahutes(French) or kajuits(Dutch).  When crimes were commited, the POPO knew that all they had to do was go down to the river and the culprit would most likely be there.  They were “in cahoots” with all the other criminals!  I love this stuff!  *sigh*  I’m such a nerd.  A word nerd.  Dang!

WTF is up with the Austrian dude who kept his daughter and his incestous offspring (some of them at least) captive in the freaking basement for 24 years?  TWENTY-FOUR YEARS!!!!!!!!  And, not to make disparaging remarks about the intellect of the mother here, but how the hell did she miss that????  I mean, the guy was taking food to them daily!  She and the “children” were forbidden from going near the area where the door was located.  Huh?  I mean, just how smart do you have to be to figure out something is wrong?  Here he is telling her that the daughter ran away.  Okay, not so suspicious there.  But sometime later, she “drops off” three of her kids.  No contact with mom, only dad.  No bells yet?  How old were the children when he brought them out of the basement?  Why didn’t they ever say, “Hey grandma, can I go downstairs and say hi to Mom?”  That is a perfect case of someone being deliberately obtuse! 

Obtuse.  Another favorite word of mine.  Look it up, Muttonhead.  I’m not doing ALL the work for you!

So, my neurologist ran away and didn’t tell me.  I get my meds through one of those online thingies.  I was up for a refill, which required my neuro to re-authorize my scripts.  No biggie, we do this all the time.  NOT!  The online meds thingie sends me a message saying that they cannot renew my scripts.  I have to contact my Dr.  Okay, a little strange, but I’m about due for a visit anyway.  I call up and get no answer.  No answer, no answering machine, no answering service, no nothing.  For days on end.  I have no idea what’s up, but I’m not really stressing too much because I never liked the jerk anyway. 

So I talk to some other doctors, trying to get a few referrals so I can find a new neuro.  One of them tells me that my neuro has moved to the mountains.  No shit?, I say.  Yep, she says.  He sent a letter to all of his current patients telling them that he was leaving and to come get their records.  I never got my letter!  *insert sad face here*  This is the point where I start to feel a little ………….well, left out.  I mean, just because I’m not at his office once a month, that doesn’t make me chopped liver!  I really  never liked that guy. 

I’m now on a quest for a new neurologist.  *sigh*  I hate this medical crap more than I can tell you.  I can’t remember things well enough to be coherent when it comes time to give a timeline/symtom list.  Luckily, MDH comes with me most of the time.  I can’t remember because I have scar tissue in the memory centers of my brain.  Whatever that means. 

It’s fascinating to listen to MDH tell about it, though.  I have no idea about alot of the things he tells them.  I am apparently very different from what I used to be like.  I don’t remember who I used to be, so it’s like listening to a story where part of the time I was the main character and part of the time my understudy took the stage for me.  She had a lot of fun times!  They sound fun, anyway.  It makes me sad that she got to do that stuff and I didn’t. 

I get all emotional about it because I wonder how people see me now, compared to how they used to see me.  I don’t feel any different.  But I must be really  different, because I used to have lots of friends and now I don’t have any.  I guess people get tired of seeing that blank look on my face every time they talk about something we did and I don’t have any idea what they mean.  I understand that because it frets me something terrible when it happens.  I feel like a partial amnesiac.  I remember just enough to know that I don’t really remember much.  I had a whole other life that I have totally forgotten. 

The cool part is that at one time I was a pretty cool old broad.  I wish I had had a video camera on me at all times.  Then I could see me doing all that stuff and maybe I would remember it then.  I wonder how sad it makes MDH, having to keep the memories alone.  That frets me too. 

This is why I hate the medical stuff.  Because I am confronted with the stranger I used to be whenever I have to go.  It gets me all emo.  I used to tell people that I lost the eighties.  They thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t.  I don’t remember the music, the television, the movies, the major events in the news.  They are gone. 

Most of the time I can sit up here on the hill and be whoever it is that I am now and not think about whatever it was that I lost.  But I think that mostly I sit here and don’t think at all.  Most of the time I run just beneath the surface and I’m not really all that aware of what’s going on around me.  I try to be, but it’s hard to do because I have no idea what I’m missing.  I don’t know what I’ve forgotten that I’m supposed to be remembering.  Whenever I go into town, people that are complete strangers to me always wave, stop and talk, and I have no idea who they are.  I smile and nod my head and I have no idea who the hell they are or where they know me from.  It’s creepy in the extreme.

Sometimes I think that I should go out and make new friends that didn’t know me before.  Then I remember that I don’t know who knows me and who doesn’t.  Makes it kind of hard to do. 

Anyways, that might explain why sometimes I’m HERE and sometimes I just have nothing to say. 

Anyone else out there have something like this going on?  How do/did you handle it? 

It’s Been A While…..I’ve Missed You…..Sniff Sniff

September 22, 2007

Okay, that’s it for the sappy emotion. 

 I’ve moved.  I’m now living in a house on top of a hill.  It’s harder than I thought it would be, this not being a slob and all.  When you have a nice house you sorta feel like you should keep it nice.  My own expectations are exhausting me. 

But it’s all bright and white and neat and shit.  And it’s out in the open and the sun shines on me all the time.  Except when the sun doesn’t shine on me.  Then it’s only partly light.  Or else it’s dark.  That happens at some point every day.  Go figger.  Still, it’s very……(I’m searching for an appropriate word here)…..happifying!  That’s a word, right?

I’ve started walking in the mornings after I put Miss Bella and His Highness the Buddha on the bus for school.  *giggle*  School.  I love school.  Anyway, I’ve been trying to get some exercise.  It seems to be working pretty well.  If you don’t count the fact that for the past 3 or 4 days I haven’t really been able to walk.  My hip ballooned up and my jaw on the same side did the same thing.  I had a tooth cut out there recently.  Seriously, you’ve missed a lot.  But I seem to be um, infected.  EW!  I KNOW!  It’s all gross sounding to me too. 

I’m thinking that I might just be allergic to all that healthy crap.  Honest.  See, I wasn’t brought up that way.  We were brought up to be filthy dirty little heathens!  That’s right, Mom!  I’m tellin all the family secrets right here!  We didn’t use hand sanitizer!  We drank sodas ALL THE TIME!  We ate the fat on our meat!  OH YES WE DID!  We ate bacon OFTEN!  I SMOKE!  We drank!  And… might want to sit down for this one….sometimes we still do!  We used copious amounts of salt on our food.  We played in dirt.  We played with our friends when they had colds.  We did not know our physicians and their office personnel on a first name basis because we went so often.  As a matter of fact, we went to the doctor’s office so seldom, that a visit there frightened us to bits!  Uh huh that’s right. 

I had my first X-ray when I was 14 years old!  And I was so terrified that I thought I would puke!  I have had many broken bones that were not set.  I have had broken bones that I never went to the doctor for at all.  We ate burgers from Louie’s!  We followed the 5 second rule.  We drank from water fountains, not water bottles.  Sometimes we drank from water hoses too.  If our ice cream fell out of the cone, we picked it up, scraped off whatever trash we could see, and plopped that bad boy back on the cone and ate away!  No sense wasting the perfectly good part of a cone over a little bit of trash!  Sheesh! 

We ate food handled by people who never wore gloves except in the winter when it was really really cold.  But never when they were touching our food.  We sometimes faked washing our hands before we ate.  We walked barefoot from the first snow until the first thaw.  And truth be told, if it wasn’t for caffeine and nicotine I would be in a coma. 

But until I started trying to be more “healthy” I was in fact healthy as the proverbial horse.  The healthier I tried to live, the unhealthier I became. 

I developed……….(insert doomsday music here) MS.  My theory is this.  As I started to live a more healthy lifestyle, my hyped up immune system had less and less legitimate work to do.  Being an honest hard working system, it couldn’t bring itself to just lay around and do nothing.  So it decided to attack something, anything.  Knowing me like it did, it had a meeting and came to the conclusion that it would attack the most useless part of me……my brain.  (wink)  So it rolled on up in there and went to work. 

But, being MY immune system, it couldn’t just attack like normal.  Oh no!  It had to do it in a bizarre fashion.  So it went for my cognitive centers.  My memory centers and pathways.  Smart-ass immune system.  On the other hand, it sometimes goes after me in the normal ways too. 

As a result of all this I have decided to go back to my unhealthy ways.  I’m back to eating the fat on my meat.  I’m gonna go barefoot in the summer until it’s just too darn cold to do it anymore.  I’m drinking water out of the faucet and if I’m in the yard I’m drinking it out of the hose.  Maybe I won’t eat the ice cream off the ground though.  I mean, I am almost 50, after all. 

Do you see what happens when I’m away too long?  I babble.  I start on one topic and end on something not even remotely related.  But I have this really cool built in excuse.  I have drain bamage.  Yeah baby!  That’s what I’m talkin bout!  *sigh*  Unfortunately, everyone I know, knows better.  *giggle*  Oh well, it was a nice try. 

But it’s good to be back.  I’ll fill you in on what you missed later.  Not allof it.  Don’t be so nosey!  Sheesh! 

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